Celebrations | Getting married at home Some tips to help ensure a stress-free celebration

The average wedding costs more than $28,000, according to websites the Knot and WeddingChannel.com. Considering that sum could buy a new car or cover a down payment on a house, many couples are opting to have their weddings at home to cut costs. However, some critical details should first be addressed.

To begin with, make sure you have enough space to accommodate everyone. If you need to make extra space, get creative. Did you know you can fit more guests at round tables than rectangular or square ones? You can also invest in a short-term storage locker, to temporarily house excess furniture or valuables. You’ll also want to check into local noise ordinances, which might require a permit to host a loud party, as well as street parking restrictions.

You’ll also want to make sure you are protected if anything goes wrong on the big day. Joe Vahey, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance Group, based in Pennsylvania, suggests couples think about some key issues:

• Keep valuable wedding gifts protected. You could end up with thousands of dollars’ worth of presents. Talk to your agent to see if your homeowners policy’s personal property limit — usually a percentage of the value of your home — will cover everything.

• Protect yourself from liability. If your uncle falls while doing the hora or your cousin trips while diving to catch the bouquet, you could end up in trouble. While some liability coverage is included in standard homeowners policies, review the liability limits with your agent. You may want to add an inexpensive personal catastrophe liability policy (also known as an umbrella policy).

• Consider “scheduling” your wedding rings rather than relying on the blanket coverage provided by a standard policy, which may have a value limit. A scheduled ring has additional coverage up to the specific value of the ring, in case it is lost or stolen.

Planning ahead to ensure you’re prepared and protected is another way to guarantee a worry-free wedding with the one you love. — brandpoint